1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Wolaver's Brown Ale - Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's

Wolaver's Brown AleWolaver's Brown Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

323 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 3.5
pDev: 13.71%

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's visit their website
Vermont, United States

Style | ABV
English Brown Ale |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 04-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Wolaver's Brown Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 218 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Buckettt


3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a decent amber, and left a 1/2" head that quickly dissipated, not leaving much lacing.

S- Malty, and I also noticed a slight vanilla note

T- Similarly, malty with a vanilla note, but unlike the smell, I also noticed some caramel, which in combination with the other notes, was very enjoyable. Also, the hops were quite mild.

M- Fairly thick, not overly carbonated

O- Worth a try for the delightful palate if nothing else

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 23:46:35 | More by Buckettt
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

2.68/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Dimpled Mug]

Poured a hazy medium brown with an average sized light tan frothy head that was mostly diminishing and had poor lacing. The aroma was of toasted caramel malts, resin hops and a mild earthy yeast with a mild hint of coffee. It tasted kind of mild with a sweet coffee flavor at first the became a little bitter and slightly hoppy at the end. Mouthfeel was light to medium in body and watery in texture with a very soft carbonation. Overall a somewhat tasty brew but lacking for the style. Not sure if being an organic brew had anything to do with the lack of flavor but I am sure it did not help.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 21:19:26 | More by KajII
Photo of PicoPapa


3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Long number printed on the side that ends with "041311" which I'm guessing is the bottled on date. Pours a dark brown color with a 1/2 inch of head. Fair amount of lacing. Aromas of malts, grain, some banana, and brown sugar. Taste is tangy with some bread and brown sugar flavors. Malty with a tangy aftertaste. Very drinkable and decent amount of flavor. Overall, its a fine offering and although I wouldn't go out of my way, I would have it again. Good beer to have in the mix 12 pack.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2011 15:30:07 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of surprenant1138


2.9/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours hazy mahogany with a quarter inch creamy tn head a good lacing. Aroma is of a very faint banana bread. Mouthfeel is light, and with too much carbonation with not enough flavor. Tastes of a faint, watered down, carbonated liquid banana bread. That's it.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 03:15:01 | More by surprenant1138
Photo of MaltsOfGlory


3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice creamy looking white head, one finger. Body looks just like a brown ale should look - brown. Not picking up too much of a smell on this, you kinda just get that generic beer smell. There are some malts and a faint hop smell on the nose, but not much else. Hmm, interesting flavor, it kinda just bursts with loads of flavor when it hits your tongue, but all the flavors are mixed in so they are hard to distinguish, what I mean to say is the flavor stays constant from front to end. You get a nice caramel malt taste, and a slight slight hop bite. Its just mixed together very well, it for sure tastes like an english brown should taste. Overall, the taste is good. Drinkability is very high, and the mouthfeel is good.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2011 00:19:34 | More by MaltsOfGlory
Photo of huxcrunner

New York

3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

a- nice amber brown color with a tanish brown head about 1.5 fingers worth no real lacing and medium head retention

s-good combination of hops and malt, caramel type undertones

t-good full flavor maltly upfront and good smooth bite for the finish

m- good full body and good overall mouthfeel '

d- overall this is a pretty good brown ale, this isnt my favorite but worth trying if you really enjoy brown ales

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2011 00:11:48 | More by huxcrunner
Photo of deltatauhobbit


3.13/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light brown color, more of an amber really, somewhat see through for a brown ale, hardly any head, no cap, and not much lacing on the glass either.

Smell is pretty much one note, caramel malt, not picking up any of the chocolate malt, no hops either.

Taste does have a somewhat creamy mouthfeel, light to medium carbonation, the caramel malt is the primary flavor but there is a bit of chocolate in the aftertaste.

Pretty standard for a brown ale, but hey it's certified organic so that counts for something.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2011 02:39:01 | More by deltatauhobbit
Photo of jeffthecheff


4.35/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear, amber red color with a frothy off white head. Great lacing and retention.

Aroma is malty and grainy, with toasty, nutty elements. Yeasty eaters are gentle but present. Lightly hopped with just a faint, leafy element.

Flavor is nutty, leafy, and bready with a dry profile all the way through. Simple but tasty. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and light on the palate, which really balances with the rich flavor profile to make this really drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2010 16:16:09 | More by jeffthecheff
Photo of angusdegraosta

New York

3.83/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this brown ale from Vermont, crafted in the English style. The color is nice, the head decent, and the flavor enjoyable. Not overpowered by hops, but certainly a intriguing mix of malt, nuttiness, maybe some toffee and mineral qualities. The ABV is slightly higher than the typical session beer, but two or three of these over the course of an evening at a friend's house sounds like a good thing. Well done - looking forward to their Oatmeal Stout, which folks seem to love.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 06:50:30 | More by angusdegraosta
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber color, decent head that fades to a slim covering of the brew with moderate lacing after each sip. Chocolate, malts, hops, alcohol, ripe fruit, honey, some yeast and maybe some fig notes in the smell. Sweet, some chocolate notes, honey, light malt, bit of hop bitterness, with an aftertaste of tobacco leaves. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a decent, matching carbonation profile. Nice, refreshing brown ale, easy drinking and smooth overall. Recommend.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2010 05:18:59 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of TheBrewo


3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

We pour a translucent brew that is golden-red in color, with a half finger white head that quickly dissipates. There is very little visible carbonation. The aroma is warm, with malts, esters, diacetyls, and sugary chocolates. The taste begins with a clean and hearty grain flavor. This strength falls away, allowing for a sweet and herbal middle to dominate. There is a quick balancing act by some mild hops, but these flavors remain and run into the aftertaste, which is heavy with esters and a fairly compelling cinnamon flavor. This beer is medium to light bodied, with low carbonation. It feels on the watery side, which leaves the mouth wet but not entirely satiated. The abv is fully standard, and the beer is easily consumed.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the simple flavor profile, and the fact that it is all organic. Compared to other beers of the style, it certainly fits, but falls short on its strength of flavors and complexity. While simplicity is generally not a negative trait, with this beer, you are left craving additional flavors.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2010 00:27:57 | More by TheBrewo
Photo of aranheaney

New York

3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a DFH snifter:

A-chestnust brown, with minor head that quickly disappears and leaves only a slight hint of lacing behind

S-very autumnal, nutty, fairly rich

T-good upfront, fairly clean, maybe a hint of malt, but nothing that really hangs around too long

M-kind of disappointing, it really didn't stay with me, almost macro-like....

D-high, but again, a little under-whelming. I really like their Oatmeal Stout (see previous review) and I was expecting more from this. It's fine but nothing special.

I'll probably throw a few into samplers I make up for my beer trading friends and newbies that I'm trying to bring into this world. You know who you are Lurkers!!!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 20:22:47 | More by aranheaney
Photo of CaptYellow

New York

3.85/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The color is a transluscent brown as would be expected, perhaps a little darker than usual. The head was to the top of the glass before the glass was half full of beer. Lacing was left along the glass.

T: O.K. Not a bad brown- the malt and the hops were both present, the malt upfront and the hop in the aftertaste. Fairly well balanced and flavorful.

M: Medium mouthfeel. It was so heavily carbonated I don't know how much was natural.

D: Fair. It didn't take me long to finish but is not something I'd want another of.

This may be a good brown ale if you get the variety pack and want the other beers but is not something I'd want to seek out.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 04:06:22 | More by CaptYellow
Photo of metter98

New York

3.6/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It poured dark amber with a thin, creamy head; a light to medium level of carbonation is visible.
S: Nutty aromas stand out in the smell, along with some hints of toasted and caramel malts.
T: The taste is slightly sweet and filled with malty flavors of caramel, nuts and toffee. There are no traces of hop bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and relatively smooth, although it also feels a bit thin.
D: The beer is rather good and very easy to drink, but I would opt for having this with a steak or a burger.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 00:32:11 | More by metter98
Photo of erosier


3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L: Pours a nice amber brown color with a short off-white colored head that leaves a little lacing down the glass.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, big caramel notes, and a hint of nuttiness at the end of it.
T: Tastes of nice roasted malts, along with nice caramel, brown sugar sweetness, then a slight nutty flavor followed by a touch of hops.
M: Very smooth, refreshing, light to medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, this was a nice sessionable brown ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 10:09:38 | More by erosier
Photo of dedrick

New York

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a bottle.

A- short, white head. Not much lacing. Color is not the usual dark brown you'd see with most brown ales. It has a lighter deep amber color.
S- Sweet mild smell. Nice.
T- The only thing I didn't like about other brown ales I've had is the taste as the beer warms up. It becomes more and more bitter and soapy. This brown ale's taste is enhanced as the beer warms. Very nice mild, safe taste. Not risky or super unique but good and reserved.
M- fine
D- Average drinkability.

Overall a good beer but nothing to call home about.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2010 23:34:31 | More by dedrick
Photo of DerekP


3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured a 12-oz bottle into a Czech Pilsner glass.

The brew is a nice brown mahogany with a lacy walnut-colored head.

The smell is deep, offering an immediate malty character, aggregated with lots of caramel & brown sugar, while the scent of alcohol sits way in the back.

Toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, alcohol, all the qualities in the smell are found in the taste, but the alcohol comes through a bit stronger.

The feel & finish is slightly grainy, with noticeable bitterness from what I can only assume is the presence of hops, though the overall character is hard to discern.

Overall, I really enjoy this beer from Wolaver's in Middlebury, Vermont. It has a moderate body, a healthy malt presence, and enough bittering units to more than satisfy the intrigued beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 00:58:35 | More by DerekP
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.38/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce tulip shaped pint.

A - Small off white head sits atop a nice looking reddish light brown (think cherry wood). Head drops to a cap quick, laces a bit.

S - Smell is a bit too neutral for my taste for a brown. It's a subdued style anyway but some sweet or roasted malt needs to pop up a bit.

T - Clean tasting with sweet malt initially. Tiny chocolate tinge. Little to no aftertaste.

M - A bit thin. Carbonation is medium.

D - Nothing to hate here, can have a few, but nothing exciting.

Notes: Easy drinking as an English Brown should be but a little short on the style's signature flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

04-10-2010 22:18:15 | More by EStreet20
Photo of NA1NSXR


3.95/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Typical brown ale look. Laces ok.

Smell - Hoppy for a brown ale, with some dark fruits, nuts. I wouldn't really call it fruity though. There is less roasted character than other beers I've had of the style.

Taste - Starts with malt, fruit, and nut flavors, all in good balance. Ends with a very mild but still noticeable hop finish. I think its pretty darn good. They say they hints of cherry and black currant here, and it is apparent in the taste as the dark fruit character is not really that fig/raisin kind. I happen to like it.

Mouthfeel - Quite smooth with controlled carbonation. Nice medium thickness.

Drinkability - This was a pleasant surprise. There is a good balance here. I can have several no problem.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2010 04:41:32 | More by NA1NSXR
Photo of gfreed


3.08/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The warm, chestnut tone in the color is very inviting, with a steady stream of little bubbles fizzing "drink me now!" Couldn't generate much more than a thin head despite the carbonation, however. Weak aroma of coffee, coca-cola, brown tea and raisins. Reasonable taste of caramel, apricots, pears and a decent sting at the end makes this easy to drink, but it doesn't really compel buying another bottle. I'm often ambivalent about brown ales; this is one that definitely embodies that ambivalence. I wouldn't turn down a free bottle.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2010 01:20:07 | More by gfreed
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

3.93/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very roasty with caramel, nuts, maple, malts and a faint touch of hops

T: The taste starts out with a hearty malt character and sweet flavors of maple, caramel and roasted nuts. Then a mild but complementary hops presence comes in and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, although there are better brown ales out there, this is a good beer to session with if you're in the mood for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2010 02:52:17 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of climax


3.33/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had to ease up on the pour because the head was so massive. It faded like creamy vanilla ice cream atop a murky dark amber/copper body. Lace was left absolutely everywhere.

The nose was heavy in sweet cocoa and caramel. A clean bill of noble hops added a bright balance. Some cidery apple and some toastiness rounded it out.

The taste was weaker than I had expected. My opinion of the flavor was skewed and distracted by a cidery apple-skin flavor and a bit of metallic twang.

The body was a bit on the light side, yet smooth. The carbonation was pretty light and the finish was extra clean. Easy to drink, but doesn't boast much (favorable) flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 02:15:31 | More by climax
Photo of largadeer


3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle for a buck at Whole Foods. Can't go wrong with 1 dollar beer, right..? Clear pale brown in the glass, more of an amber perhaps, a bit light for the style and without much head retention. The nose is sweet and toasty, heavy on the crystal malt. There's a touch of dark fruit as well, plum or date-like. On the tongue it's toasty, bready, a bit like graham-cracker. The body is thin, semi-sweet and a bit astringent and grainy toward the end. Not terribly impressive stuff, but not outright bad. It's on the light side for the style, too thin and lacking character.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 04:32:39 | More by largadeer
Photo of shoude

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from bottle into sam adams beer glass

pours a reddish color with an average head that lingers on the glass, has a nice yeasty aroma, a crisp and malty flavor with a nutty twist and a very dry finish, goes down very easy and isn't heavy at all

would pair well with burger and fries, beef stew or even a steak

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 02:14:34 | More by shoude
Photo of drabmuh


4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Beer is brown and hazy, forms a thin off white head that nearly disappears quickly after pouring and leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is low and steady.

Aroma is sweet with a hint of roast, caramel. Very nice.

Medium to full bodied, sweet up front, interesting caramel on the back end, not a lot of flavor back there. Second taste, more bitterness the second time with some more sweetness. Drinkability is high and mouthfeel is pretty good. Carbonation does really come into play in the palate for this beer but overall really nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2010 23:43:51 | More by drabmuh
Wolaver's Brown Ale from Otter Creek Brewing / Wolaver's
80 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.